Sri Lankan star heads West

DENTON West Cricket Club has attracted the services of top Sri Lankan talent Shashrika Pussegolla as professional for the 2023 season.

The all-rounder is no stranger to Windsor Park after appearing for them in 2019.

But the 35-year-old – who played alongside greats Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga earlier in his career – will be back as they go for glory in Greater Manchester Cricket League Premier League.

Shashrika Pussegolla

West, who were promoted to the top tier in 2022 after taking the Premier 2 title 12 months previously, set off well last year winning their opening 7 games, but a mid-season slump saw them losing 11 of the remaining 15 games which led to a mid-table finish in 7th place.

They will certainly be looking to improve on that this year and the new pro will be key to their progress

Pussegola comes with an impressive record in first class and one day cricket in Sri Lanka.

Most recently he has captained Sebastianites CC, who coincidentally also feature former Ashton pro Chami Edirisinghe.

With vast experience in the white ball game, he has shown his ability with four previous stints in the UK.

Initially with two seasons at Barnoldswick in the Ribblesdale League, he hit 1,907 runs and took 119 wickets.  He then made the short move to Lancashire League outfit Enfield for a two-season stay when he scored 1,676 runs to which were added 107 wickets.

With Covid-19 making overseas travel problematical he is returning to the UK for the first time since 2019.

Pussegolla is described as: “A very easy going, fun loving guy with excellent communication skills, Shash shows 100 per cent commitment to ensuring the development of cricketers from kids to adults in his time in the UK.”

A right-hand bat and able to bowl both medium pace and spin, West certainly look to have picked up a good player and will be looking forward to the start of the season.

And a club spokesman said: “With a fantastic pedigree in first class cricket and the Lancashire league we’re sure he will be a huge success at Windsor Park.”

Denton West face a tough test on the opening day (April 22) when 2022 champions Prestwich are the visitors to Windsor Park.

Over the coming weeks The Correspondent will be looking at preparations for the season at all of the Tameside Clubs who feature in the GMCL

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